No Utilities

5 Replies


     I'm in the process of buying a piece of vacant land in the middle of a developed neighborhood with houses. On the listing it says no utilities, is that possible, there being developed houses next door?


It may only mean that there are no utilities stubbed out on the lot not that they are not available.  Ask the listing agent or owner they will know.

It could also mean though that depending on lot size that you would need  to dig a well and put in septic.  There are lots of properties left over from the late night tv sales programs that do not have water and or sewer available.  Clearlake, CA had lots of these 50 x100 foot lots and are much too small for standard septic, Guerneville CA has lots of these paper subdivisions as well.  

The Guerneville lots were given away if you attended a movie in SF the 30's.  Most are too steep to even build a street.

Do your homework well, here just the hookup fee for the sewer (Not the permit mind you, the permits are additional) is almost $5,000

That is before you can even get a permit, or take one bucket full of dirt with the backhoe

@Martin Scherer  do you invest in vacant land up in your area? Coincidentally I've been looking into the Clearlake area. Anything I should watch out for?

@Jason Pachomski  

Yes for certain, many of the lots available are paper subdivisions meaning they may or may not ever be developed.  Until sewers are put in and water, possibly never, the appreciation comes whenever people from out of area see the prices and take a flyer.  Then prices  fluctuate wildly.  Some I sold in 2006 for 20,000 might get 3-5000 now.

Hidden Valley has lots of lots available but not many are buildable due lack of sewers and the soil may be only a few inches thick over rock.  Those that are build able and have a view are decently priced but there is still not much market. The accessibility to the remainder of the bay area is poor so holds down appreciation.

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